Canadian diplomats to learn martial arts

Jan. 6, 2013 at 10:32 AM

OTTAWA, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Canadian diplomats may take self-defense classes after the government issued a request for martial-arts instructors to teach them to "manage confrontation."

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade posted a solicitation for instructors last month to teach ambassadors sent to "certain high-risk countries," The Globe and Mail reported Friday.

"Employees posted abroad must be sensitized to personal security threats in foreign countries," the posting said.

They need to know rudimentary "reactive techniques to manage confrontation in potentially dangerous situations."

Former Canadian ambassador to Guatemala, Dan Livermore, said he "can't see where it's going to be of much use anywhere."

"The emphasis has always been on go with the flow, do what they tell you within reason, and try to worm your way out -- you don't fight your way out," he said, warning of diplomats potentially overconfident in their fighting skills.

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